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"Oh, the Places UD Go": Decades of Photos

By Emily Cordonnier '21

I love looking through old photos; if I could, I’d do it all day. Thankfully, I can — at least for a couple of hours a day. Over the past couple of months, I’ve been working with the photo collection in the University Archives, alphabetizing, organizing and removing duplicate photos. 

If every photo tells a story, those drawers hold a library full of student and faculty history. Some photos are too good not to share; during my work, I routinely found myself taking photos of the images and sending them to my friends so they could share the experience. Here are some of my favorite photos and moments in UD history.

Everything’s waiting for you … downtown

These photos show the last time the Arcade was in operation in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It is interesting to see the Arcade restored to its former glory. Since its opening, the Dayton Arcade has been a centerpiece to the downtown area, and now UD students can enjoy its rich history. Dayton’s downtown offers a beautiful array of architectural structures and public spaces, my personal favorite being the lookout point above the Courthouse Square fountain.

Wanna grab lunch on Brown Street?

Brown Street has been the quintessential place to grab lunch or hang out with friends for generations. The Pine Club looks the same as it did many years ago; United Dairy Farmers has been a perennial savior for late-night munchies; and Milano’s has been serving up pizza and subs to the UD community since 1969.

Outside is the place to be

Once the weather gets nice, outside is the only spot to be. Rather than being trapped inside, why not bring your living room outside? Moving furniture outside to soak up the rays and hang out with friends was a common occurrence in the 1970s and ʼ80s on campus. If moving all your belongings outside is too much work, then meditate in the grass near a tree — or grab a few friends and hang out in a tree.

The Times They Are A-Changin’

Some of my other favorite photos come from the demonstrations category. In 1971 during the opening of the new library, demonstrators gathered to protest the firing of 85 union workers. After the demonstration, some students involved were taken to student court as they had violated the Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Freedoms. The court later dismissed the charges and gave students the right to protest as long as it was not used disruptively. You can find out more about the library protests on an online UD Arena history project led by history faculty member Todd Uhlman.

Another student demonstration occurred with the University permitting the CIA to recruit on campus in 1988 and 1989 and to host a two-month speaker series. It led to a range of protests including a two-and-a-half-day sit-in by 33 students in the president’s office. The yearlong debate sparked dialogue about UD’s Catholic values as well as the concerns about the well-being of the country and people from other nations. If you’d like to read more about the protests, you can read about it in the 1989 Daytonian yearbook (pages 54-59)

Come browse by appointment

If you’d like to browse the photos for yourself, schedule an appointment with the University Archives and Special Collections by contacting University archivist Kristina Schulz at 937-229-4256 or

—Emily Cordonnier is a senior graphic design major from Covington, Ohio. She’ll graduate in May 2021.

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